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I have a new cat fish hole that is turning out to be pretty good. Last weekend I took my son cat fishing at night and we ended up catching a decent sized one. It was probably 10-15 lbs. I'm upset because I forgot I had a scale in my tackle box big enough to weigh it.

 

Anyway, We turned it loose because I had always been told these weren't that good to eat so I have never kept them. Then, a guy I work with yesterday told me he has eaten them up to 40 lbs and they are pretty good.

 

So, what is the verdict? What size is too big to eat? I'm tempted to keep one the next time we go out just to try it.

 

I love night cat fishing and now my son is hooked too.

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Several rivers in Nebraska have elevated mercury levels and my (limited) understanding is that mercury is increasingly concentrated in fish as they age. I'm not sure about taste or safety . . . but I don't keep catfish over 10lbs. I'd rather catch them again in a few years.

 

Easily my favorite type of fishing . . . and probably the only type of fishing that I'm any good at. Haha.

 

 

 

Edit: Not sure why I capitalized mercury. :S

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I think the only way to know is when you clean them. I have seen 10 pounders with nasty yellow filet and I have seen 15 pounders with nice white filet. You may just have to take a shot on a couple and see what happens.

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Thanks for the replies.

 

Hadn't thought about the mercury.

 

LINK

 

This is on private land along the Platte River. I'm sure water from the Platte supplies these lakes but it's not directly supplied by them by a direct flow.

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My rule is anything over 10lbs, I put the fish in a tank of clean water for a couple days and flush it out. I then fillet it and soak the fillets in salt water for an hour or 2. this drows out the blood and other crap that might be lurking around.

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My rule is anything over 10lbs, I put the fish in a tank of clean water for a couple days and flush it out. I then fillet it and soak the fillets in salt water for an hour or 2. this drows out the blood and other crap that might be lurking around.

This is a good idea.

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I don't eat catfish, but I keep only small fish, any walleye over 18" go back to the water cause they don't taste as good anyway. I soak filets for 24 hours in cold salt-water in the fridge then bag and freeze them. A friend of mine from Wisconsin soaks his fillets in milk for 24 hours in the fridge and that seems to work well too.

 

See Carlfense's post as to why you wouldn't want to eat a lot of big fish. I also trim the belly meat off the fillets since that's where most of the mercury would be, mostly to keep it safer for my kids.

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My rule is anything over 10lbs, I put the fish in a tank of clean water for a couple days and flush it out. I then fillet it and soak the fillets in salt water for an hour or 2. this drows out the blood and other crap that might be lurking around.

This is a good idea.

 

Never heard of doing this. I will have to tell my dad. he eats catfish. I haven't eaten catfish in probably 20+ years. Just never liked it.

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I swallowed a mouthfull of Hg as a child..Still feel it move when I corner too fast...

 

 

 

http://epi.publichea...ry/in_fish.html

 

Mercury

 

Q& A - Mercury in Fish

What is mercury and how does it get into the environment?

 

Mercury is a metal that occurs naturally at low levels in rock, soil and water throughout North Carolina. Mercury is also released into the air, water and land when fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) are burned; when municipal solid waste or medical waste is incinerated; during forest fires; and during some manufacturing processes.

How does mercury get into fish?

 

Most mercury pollution is released into the air and then falls directly into water bodies or onto land, where it can be washed into waterways. When mercury gets into water, bacteria can change it into a form called methylmercury, which is absorbed by tiny aquatic organisms. When fresh water and ocean fish eat those organisms, the mercury begins to build up in their bodies. When larger fish eat smaller fish, mercury can build up to high levels in the tissues of the big fish. Because it binds to the protein in fish muscles — the "meat" of the fish — mercury cannot be removed by cooking or cleaning the fish.

How can mercury affect people's health?

 

Mercury mostly affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, especially in unborn babies and young children. The more mercury that gets into a person's body, the longer the exposure time, and the younger the person, the more severe the effects are likely to be.

Mercury is most harmful to the developing brains of unborn children and young children. Mercury can interfere with the way nerve cells move into position as the brain develops, resulting in abnormal brain development. Prenatal exposure to mercury can affect the way children think, learn, and problem-solve later in life. Effects can also occur in adults at much higher doses. The earliest obvious signs of mercury poisoning in adults are tingling or numbness of the lips, tongue, fingers, or toes; fatigue; and blurred vision.

How much fish can people safely eat?

 

Fish is an excellent, low-fat source of protein and other nutrients and an important part of a balanced diet. But some fish also contain unsafe levels of mercury. The amount of mercury in fish varies depending on the type of fish; their size, weight and age; what they eat; and where they live. Smaller, non-predatory fish with shorter life spans tend to have lower levels of mercury. Larger, older fish that eat smaller fish tend to have the highest levels. Fish with an average level of less than 0.4 milligram of mercury per kilogram of body weight are considered safe for eating.

North Carolina encourages people to eat fish low in mercury because of the health benefits to the heart as well as to the developing brains of children. While most freshwater fish in North Carolina contain very low levels of mercury and are safe to eat, some ocean fish and freshwater fish may contain high levels of mercury and may be unsafe. Click here for a list of fish high in mercury in the fact sheet, North Carolina's Advice on Eating Fish

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I swallowed a mouthfull of Hg as a child..Still feel it move when I corner too fast...

 

 

 

http://epi.publichea...ry/in_fish.html

 

Mercury

 

Q& A - Mercury in Fish

What is mercury and how does it get into the environment?

 

Mercury is a metal that occurs naturally at low levels in rock, soil and water throughout North Carolina. Mercury is also released into the air, water and land when fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) are burned; when municipal solid waste or medical waste is incinerated; during forest fires; and during some manufacturing processes.

How does mercury get into fish?

 

Most mercury pollution is released into the air and then falls directly into water bodies or onto land, where it can be washed into waterways. When mercury gets into water, bacteria can change it into a form called methylmercury, which is absorbed by tiny aquatic organisms. When fresh water and ocean fish eat those organisms, the mercury begins to build up in their bodies. When larger fish eat smaller fish, mercury can build up to high levels in the tissues of the big fish. Because it binds to the protein in fish muscles — the "meat" of the fish — mercury cannot be removed by cooking or cleaning the fish.

How can mercury affect people's health?

 

Mercury mostly affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, especially in unborn babies and young children. The more mercury that gets into a person's body, the longer the exposure time, and the younger the person, the more severe the effects are likely to be.

Mercury is most harmful to the developing brains of unborn children and young children. Mercury can interfere with the way nerve cells move into position as the brain develops, resulting in abnormal brain development. Prenatal exposure to mercury can affect the way children think, learn, and problem-solve later in life. Effects can also occur in adults at much higher doses. The earliest obvious signs of mercury poisoning in adults are tingling or numbness of the lips, tongue, fingers, or toes; fatigue; and blurred vision.

How much fish can people safely eat?

 

Fish is an excellent, low-fat source of protein and other nutrients and an important part of a balanced diet. But some fish also contain unsafe levels of mercury. The amount of mercury in fish varies depending on the type of fish; their size, weight and age; what they eat; and where they live. Smaller, non-predatory fish with shorter life spans tend to have lower levels of mercury. Larger, older fish that eat smaller fish tend to have the highest levels. Fish with an average level of less than 0.4 milligram of mercury per kilogram of body weight are considered safe for eating.

North Carolina encourages people to eat fish low in mercury because of the health benefits to the heart as well as to the developing brains of children. While most freshwater fish in North Carolina contain very low levels of mercury and are safe to eat, some ocean fish and freshwater fish may contain high levels of mercury and may be unsafe. Click here for a list of fish high in mercury in the fact sheet, North Carolina's Advice on Eating Fish

I wonder if trimming the belly meat does any good after reading this. I've probably been mislead by people spouting off mis-information. Are you serious about being able to feel the mercury in your body?

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When i was a kid, I took apart old thermostats and played with the mercury. It was so cool.

 

Something I thought of when reading Husker 37s post. It states that it is mainly in predatory fish. I then went back and noticed that in the link I posted, very few of the fish they claim that had mercury issues were catfish.

 

Could this be because catfish tend to eat crap they find off the bottom and not other smaller live fish (as much)?

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Could this be because catfish tend to eat crap they find off the bottom and not other smaller live fish (as much)?

Depends on the species. You won't find flatheads eating crap off the bottom . . .

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Could this be because catfish tend to eat crap they find off the bottom and not other smaller live fish (as much)?

Depends on the species. You won't find flatheads eating crap off the bottom . . .

 

Nope...Flatheads feed off of live bait and that is about it.

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Could this be because catfish tend to eat crap they find off the bottom and not other smaller live fish (as much)?

Depends on the species. You won't find flatheads eating crap off the bottom . . .

 

Nope...Flatheads feed off of live bait and that is about it.

 

 

I honestly didn't know that until just the other day. The big catfish I caught was large, greenish greyish color and had a flat head. I was sure it was a "flathead" catfish. I caught it on old stinky fish scraps from the weekend before.

 

The only other that I would think it would be is a channel cat and I thought those always/usually have spots on their sides and this one didn't.

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I honestly didn't know that until just the other day. The big catfish I caught was large, greenish greyish color and had a flat head. I was sure it was a "flathead" catfish. I caught it on old stinky fish scraps from the weekend before.

 

The only other that I would think it would be is a channel cat and I thought those always/usually have spots on their sides and this one didn't.

If you caught it on stinky fish scraps it's likely that it was just a big channel or a blue. Channels over 5lbs or so generally don't have the spots that are common on younger fish. Also, I don't think that I've ever seen a greyish flathead. They generally are brown, yellow, green, or mottled.

 

flathead.jpg

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It was very dark and it had rolled in the sand before I got a good look at it. This very well might be what it looked like....which is supposedly a channel cat.

 

Channel-Catfish-F-372.jpg

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Carlfense, if you like Catfish fishing, you should try some Sturgeon fishing. I know guys that go up to the Rainy River for these things and they get big and seem to fight a lot like catfish. Not sure if they have any big ones back in the Missouri river or not.

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Carlfense, if you like Catfish fishing, you should try some Sturgeon fishing. I know guys that go up to the Rainy River for these things and they get big and seem to fight a lot like catfish. Not sure if they have any big ones back in the Missouri river or not.

Do you need a special license for them in Minn.?

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Got this a few weekends ago at a lake outside of Omaha.

We were catching a ton of big crappie. After getting a smaller one, we hooked it and sent it out into deeper water on a heavier line.

This was one hell of a fight, especially with the dog jumping in and swimming after/on top of the fish.

Fish.jpg

 

No idea why it is rotated like this. Sorry.

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Got this a few weekends ago at a lake outside of Omaha.

We were catching a ton of big crappie. After getting a smaller one, we hooked it and sent it out into deeper water on a heavier line.

This was one hell of a fight, especially with the dog jumping in and swimming after/on top of the fish.

Nice fish . . . and nice dog! We have a 4 month old golden. She keeps us busy. Haha.

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Carlfense, if you like Catfish fishing, you should try some Sturgeon fishing. I know guys that go up to the Rainy River for these things and they get big and seem to fight a lot like catfish. Not sure if they have any big ones back in the Missouri river or not.

I've caught little shovelnose sturgeon by accident . . . bizzarre looking fish. Prehistoric.

 

Pallid sturgeon do live in the Missouri River but they are very rare.

 

 

 

What I'd really like to do is go back to do is fish for halibut.

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Carlfense, if you like Catfish fishing, you should try some Sturgeon fishing. I know guys that go up to the Rainy River for these things and they get big and seem to fight a lot like catfish. Not sure if they have any big ones back in the Missouri river or not.

I've caught little shovelnose sturgeon by accident . . . bizzarre looking fish. Prehistoric.

 

Pallid sturgeon do live in the Missouri River but they are very rare.

 

 

 

What I'd really like to do is go back to do is fish for halibut.

 

Do you fish rod and reel for all the big flatheads you catch?

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Do you fish rod and reel for all the big flatheads you catch?

Yes. I occasionally run set lines for channels using cut bait but I never waste my big live baits on set lines.

 

I think that over the years I've only caught one flathead on a set line (by accident) and it was under 5lbs.

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Got this a few weekends ago at a lake outside of Omaha.

We were catching a ton of big crappie. After getting a smaller one, we hooked it and sent it out into deeper water on a heavier line.

This was one hell of a fight, especially with the dog jumping in and swimming after/on top of the fish.

Nice fish . . . and nice dog! We have a 4 month old golden. She keeps us busy. Haha.

also love the pup pup. Ours is gonna turn 6 soon. Looking to get another soon.

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Got this a few weekends ago at a lake outside of Omaha.

We were catching a ton of big crappie. After getting a smaller one, we hooked it and sent it out into deeper water on a heavier line.

This was one hell of a fight, especially with the dog jumping in and swimming after/on top of the fish.

Nice fish . . . and nice dog! We have a 4 month old golden. She keeps us busy. Haha.

also love the pup pup. Ours golden is gonna turn 6 soon. Looking to get another soon.

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My wife and I went fishing the other morning and weren't having much luck. We tried liver, worms, cut bait from bluegill and carp, stink bait from a store. Nothing was biting. We decided to cook some breakfast and just sit around for awhile longer before packing it in. While we were sitting there, my wife decided to throw a piece of sausage link from breakfast for the hell of it. She no more go her pole in the holder and wham, the line took off on her. She got it reeled in and it was a 6 lb channel cat. She put another piece on and about 5 minutes later, again, another cat weighing 3.5 lbs. we ended up catching 8 cats that morning off of sausage links.

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